July 28th 2017 – SysAdmin Day. A day to celebrate the work, that often takes place behind closed doors, of System Administrators worldwide. We’re taking today to think about being a Sys Admin, in particular the pros and cons of the coveted role.
First things first, what is a Systems Administrator? Officially they are responsible for the upkeep, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems; especially multi-user computers, such as servers. However, in reality the role and the accompanying level of responsibility is varied depending on the organisation. As such, the pros and cons probably differ depending on who you work for and what your specific role entails. So, to do this justice, we reached out to numerous SysAdmins through SpiceWorks and collected as many pros and cons as possible. Below, we have listed some of the common answers we received.
Becoming an IT Detective
Undoubtedly a pro if you have the right mindset for it, a significant part of being a system administrator is being able to diagnose problems and fix them accordingly. So, if you’re of the kind of mindset where you love a challenge and no two days the same, this role is for you.
The Importance and Real World Implications of the Role
This one could be a pro or a con depending on whether you thrive under pressure. Most organisations today rely completely on their computers/network. When something goes wrong, employees are sat twiddling their thumbs waiting for it to start working again. In the background the organisation could suffer dramatic losses to the bottom line if the network remains down for long. So, the work done behind the scenes by Sys Admins makes a huge difference in the real world every day.
The Options Open to you are Endless
As almost all companies, irrespective of size, sectors and location, use computers, System Administrators are able to apply for positions pretty much anywhere in the world. This seems to be a pro for many Sys Admins, as you don’t get pigeon-holed into a specific industry.
The Pay Isn’t Bad
Many Sys Admin positions, in the US especially, tend to pay above the average national salary. This statistic is backed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics who suggest that employment of Computer Support Specialists is set to rise by 17% by 2022 and that the median average wage is just over $60,000.
You May Often Be Taken to Your Wit’s End
Sometimes identifying a specific problem that can be hidden away deep in the network or computer can take days, even weeks. However, the exasperation sets in when you have to deal with the numerous impatient and unaccommodating customers, staff members or supervisors that, more often than not, were the original cause of the problem to begin with.
So, being a sys admin has both its advantages and its disadvantages. It’s important to remember both when thinking of pursuing this career path. But, whatever role you’re in, just remember important work that Sys Admins are doing behind the scenes every day. And remember to thank a Sys Admin on the 28th of July to help get Sys Admin Day celebrations underway!